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norman kelley

norman kelley
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Norman Kelley is an independent journalist, author, and former segment radio producer at WBAI 99.5 FM Pacifica Radio. He has written for Society, L A Weekly, The Brooklyn Rail, The Village Voice, The Nation, New York Press, Newsday,, The Black Star News, New Politics, Black Renaissance/Noir, and The Bedford Stuyvesant Current. He is also the author of the "noir soul"/ mystery series that features "Nina Halligan" in Black Heat (Amistad), The Big Mango (Akashic Books), and A Phat Death (2003). Norman Kelley was also a contributing writer to Brooklyn Noir (Akashic Books, 2004) and DC Noir (Akashic Books, 2006) and Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs at the Turn of the Millennium (Random House 2000). He edited and contributed to R&B (Rhythm and Business): The Political Economy of Black Music (Akashic Books, 2005; 2002).

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SEPTEMBER 25, 2011 9:48PM

Obama's Chutzpah Performance Before the CBC

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Watching Obama telling the Black Congressional Caucus to stop its bellyachin' has got to be one of the greatest chutzpah performances of all time.

Here's a guy who even cratered his own accomplishments by being the master of pre-emptive compromise, yet he's going to get an attitude that black elected officials and blacks are pissed at his poor performance as a leader?!

And don't forget, days before his appearance at the CBC event, he showed what a man of steel he was by doing what all American politicians are great at: genuflecting before the state of Israel. 

Meanwhile it's been reported that Obama okayed that country getting "bunker buster" bombs, which will undoubtedly be used on suspected Iranian nuclear facilities.

Yet cynical Republicans sensing weakness and some Jewish Americans are trying to drum up a "Jewish problem" for Obama because he wants Israel to stop building settlements and get down to negotiating with the Palestinians.

Let's face it: he ain't a real Christian devotee of Israel like Rick Perry.

Obama's real complaint regarding the black electorate? They aren't fully appreciative of the symbolic importance of him being the first black president, which surely dwarfs their economic despair.

I mean, get your priorities right, people!


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Obama reportedly told blacks: "Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin'. Stop grumblin'. Stop cryin'. We are going to press on. We have work to do."

Yet where were Obama's marching shoes when tens of thousands of people descended upon the Wisconsin state capitol to try to preserve the labor unions that were -- and still are -- under attack? He didn't show his face once in Wisconsin.

Obama is a hypocrite and an awful leader. He's one of the most uninspiring, laziest Democratic -- er, "Democratic" -- presidents that we've had.
To me he's in a box, and can't win right now, although, if he sold it more on "triangulation" a la Clinton, that might work better. Maybe not, as that was hated by some Democrats at the time.
But to me, the box is kind of funn, like when Republicans say he's a Muslim and too anti-Israeli, and yet the Israelis say he's anti-them, and meanwhile Al Jazeera just had an article on Obama being a "Jewish President." He can't be all those things, which means he's trying to find some reasonable balance between the parties in that dispute to me.
The Republicans say he's a communist, and yet the Democrats say he's not doing enough left wing policy priorites. Which is it?
He can't be both, which means he's in the middle. Maybe that won't work anymore, and its time for Allende or Pinochet, although that seems kind of dumb.
And as to the Palestinians, would you take a bullet for them? Moreover, would you risk actually trading Los Angeles for Tel Aviv to force a peace? I might, although that's not a very popular view, and that would be only under certain rather extreme contingencies.
That's the power reality, potentially. Would you commit American ground troops on a Security Council motion saying "1967 now, or else,' with ground troops to enforce the ultimatum, and say "if you make one move with nukes, see a max load of Tridents, all W-88s air and ground blasts, 192 of them, all in, or back down?"
Would you cut the aid budget? Could be risky, as if Israel feels isolated, they might do some rather risky things, like nuke Iran, and other people.
Yeah, Norman…I’m sure Clarence Thomas feels the same way.

Keep at it—because Obama still has some life left in him. With any kind of luck…and the hard work you are putting into it, you can help insure that that little bit is sucked out of him.

There are all sorts of people who will love to watch what this sowing will reap when the Republicans get back in the main driver’s seat.
His shame is how little he believes in the people and how much in strategems. A pragmatist to the core ready to throw his own grandmother under the bus. Now he will do anything to get reelected, although for what purpose is a

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